Skip to content U.S. Department of Transportation/Federal Highway AdministrationU.S. Department of Transportation/Federal Highway Administration
Skip to content

A more comprehensive, innovative approach to managing complex projects

Project Management Strategies for Complex Projects (R10)


Sound decision making leads to successful project completion in a rapid renewal environment. Complex projects demand strong partnerships between transportation agencies, contractors, consulting engineers, and stakeholders. With engineering, economic, and environmental issues becoming more challenging, reliable and innovative project management strategies are essential to successfully complete complex projects on time.


A five-dimensional project management method (5DPM) has been developed that adds project context and financing mechanisms to the three standard factors of cost, schedule, and engineering requirements. This process ties stakeholder success to project success, encouraging innovation and changes in standard management practices. The guide supports sound decision making in rapid construction environments.


5DPM accounts for external factors; considers projects to be iterative rather than linear; schedules projects to create value; encourages innovation, hybrid contracting, and relational partnering; and emphasizes that each complex project has its own set of performance goals. This process addresses and enables a systematic management approach that speeds decision making, increases turnaround times, addresses complex issues, and expedites government approvals for rapid renewal projects.

In the Field

State Project Description Activity Contact
Georgia Georgia Department of Transportation applying strategies to Northwest Corridor project Lead Adopter Darryl VanMeter
Georgia Department of Transportation
Massachusetts Massachusetts Department of Transportation applying strategies to Route 20 project in Charlton and Oxford Lead Adopter Muazzez Reardon
Massachusetts Department of Transportation
Michigan Michigan Department of Transportation applying strategies to the I-75 and I-94 projects Lead Adopter Sue Datta
Michigan Department of Transportation
Montana Federal Lands Highway applying strategies to the Gardiner Gateway project Lead Adopter Victoria Peters
Federal Lands Highway
New Mexico New Mexico Department of Transportation applying strategies to the Silver City complex project Lead Adopter A.J. Romero
New Mexico Highway and Transportation Department

Field activities also performed in California, Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Texas and Washington during the research phase.

Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000